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Police Investigating Multiple Car Fires In Nyack

Rockland County Officials: Simultaneous Attacks May Be Work Of More Than 1
House and car damaged by fire on Summit Street (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

House and car damaged by fire on Summit Street (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

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NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — ArsonĀ  in suburbia.

A neighborhood near the Tappan Zee Bridge is dealing with an alarming series of attacks. Residents are on edge after four cars were set on fire Monday night in Nyack.

The incidents all happened around 2:30 a.m. on Summit and Washington streets, police said.

“I was in the living room looking at TV. It was about 2-something in the morning and I saw all this light and I said what’s all this light from?” one resident told CBS 2’s Lou Young on Tuesday.

It was the car in her driveway on Summit Street, set ablaze, and it was all caught on cellphone video, part of a terrifying arson spree that had homeowners scrambling to summon help.

“I was afraid. I needed to call 911 and I was praying my house didn’t catch fire,” resident Ron Borurdeau told CBS 2’s Young.

Two of vehicles were completely destroyed; and two were partially damaged, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. All of the cars were parked in the driveways of homes.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

Firefighters at first thought someone had gotten the address wrong. On their way to one reported fire, they spotted two more car fires in progress down the block and across the street from each other, officials said.

They managed to save one car just as the front seat went up and the roofing began to melt, but a late model Jeep was fully involved, causing the siding to melt away from the detached garage nearby. The homeowner tried to spray the flames with a garden hose.

“I know there’s no way I can put the car out. All I can do is make sure the house doesn’t catch on fire,” resident Jeff Lovell said.

One of the fires spread to the side of the home at 35 Summit St., causing thousands of dollars of damage. A couple and their 6-month-old baby escaped the fire without injury, police said.

“My cousin was watching television and she saw flames coming up and she jumped up and said, ‘Fire!’ and told everybody to get out,” homeowner Melvin Cooper said.

nyack fires Police Investigating Multiple Car Fires In Nyack

A Jeep destroyed in a fire in Nyack (credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

“I mean if you’re going to burglarize something, burglarize it. Why would you set a fire? That doesn’t make any sense to me. I can’t … For the life of me I can’t. What the hell is going through this person’s mind?” Avon Cooper added.

As she was speaking, a few doors away, her neighbor discovered a fourth attempted car fire. It was a dud that scorched her vehicle’s interior but failed to ignite fully. Police spent part of Tuesday looking through home security recordings in the hope of finding out who went on the arson rampage and why.

The fires appear to have been set within moments of each other. Detectives said they believe they are looking for more than one person.

Rockland County officials are unsure of a motive.

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